Shrankhla Holecek’s seven secrets of wellbeing
In the latest of our occasional series, the founder of rising star organic beauty brand UMA Oils shares the tips and tricks that she relies on to stay grounded, balanced and well-rested – and which we can all follow... I detox – gently! – every morning. Detoxes don’t have to be extreme exercises in self-inflicted torture, undertaken periodically. I try to integrate some simple-but-surefire, daily detox tips, which have their roots in Ayurveda [the traditional healthcare system of India]. I start my day with scraping my tongue after brushing. I dry-brush my body for five to seven minutes before showering – starting with my legs and going all the way up to my shoulders, back and front.
There’s simply no better way to cleanse your lymphatic system and fight cellulite. As often as I can, I practice oil pulling (swishing oil around in your mouth for about 5-10 minutes to pull out deep-rooted toxins, ending with spitting the oil – in a cup, not drain, to prevent clogging) in the shower, using sesame or coconut oil. Dietwise, the first thing I consume is a cup of warm lemon water. At night time I add triphala (a combination of three Ayurvedic herbs – amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki – available at most health food stores, Whole Foods or Amazon!) when I need that added boost of detox.
Regular exercise is vital. I try to get up a healthy sweat at least five days of the week. It doesn’t have to be intense— often it's a run, or the Stairmaster while reviewing a document, or even getting on my rowing machine at home (my best investment ever) while watching TV, and sometimes while I’m still in a work skirt! I go to a yoga or spin class as often as I can: for me they’re at extreme ends of the spectrum and I love to keep my body guessing.
Sleep is HUGE for wellness - and skin - and work productivity. When I build up big sleep deficits in the week, I try to pay them back on weekends by sleeping in. I find myself more alert and I can tell the difference in my skin tone and eye area pretty quickly. Also, I try maintain pretty decent sleep hygiene — clean face, feet rubbed with coconut oil (a little Ayurvedic tip for people that get aggravated easily), fresh sheets every three to five days, and a fresh pillow case every two to three days.
I eat for my Ayurvedic body type [dosha]. With Ayurveda, eating right to keep your dosha in balance goes beyond just what is clean and healthy. A superfood could be unsuitable for a certain Ayurvedic constitution; for instance, kapha types should avoid avocado. I’m pitta, and need to stay away from excessively spicy or sour foods and looking instead to sweeter varieties of fruit such as watermelon and pineapple, which are also excellent to sneakily up your skin-restoring water intake. I swap coffee for a cup or two of green tea whenever I can – it agrees with me better and is loaded with antioxidants.
Emotional detoxing is arguably more important than physical, given how emotional toxicity will sneak up on you, taking on forms from sudden angry outbursts to headaches and back pain. I find that really being ‘present’ in conversations with people I love – family, husband, friends – helps me detox emotionally. This can be harder than you think – you have to truly not be thinking about a pending contract or an office issue in the background and to make proper time for a phone call that needs more than a perfunctory check in. I really believe that investing in this ritual has served me very well.
Using essential oils. Between my face, hair and body I’m practically bathed in essential oils every day but importantly I’m committed to using them for better health - for better sleep, for managing anxiety, even for cutting back on my caffeine intake. I love the ritual around using my own brand UMA’s wellness oils (starting between toes and feet and going up to temples). It creates a powerful moment of reflection and centered-ness in my day.
Travel makes me happy. I grew up like a nomad, at boarding school, college and business school all in different parts of the world and I caught a particularly virulent strain of the travel bug. I start to become emotionally and intellectually starved if I don't get my fill. It needn’t be far or wide or long but I need to up and go from time to time. Fortunately work helps me get my share.